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Infected Bug Bite
Can an infected insect bite be treated over telehealth?

Yes, our doctors can treat an infected bug bite over telehealth. If antibiotics are needed to treat the infection, your telehealth doctor can send these prescriptions electronically to any pharmacy of your choice.

Insect bites are common and are often not a cause for concern. They might cause itching, swelling and stinging that will usually go away after a few days without the need for treatment. Some bites, however, can transmit disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Stings from bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, and fire ants might cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

What causes an insect bite to get infected?

The skin acts as a barrier to the harmless bacteria on its surface. If the skin breaks, these harmless bacteria can get under the skin and cause an infection.

An insect bite can penetrate the skin, allowing bacteria to enter. A common symptom of insect bites is a small, itchy lump. If a person scratches this lump, it may break the skin. This can allow bacteria from their hand to enter the bite, leading to an infection.

Infected mosquito bites are common in children and easily treated with antibiotics. It is a good idea to start antibiotics as soon as possible, as soon as you think there may be a bacterial infection. 

Why Choose MyCatholicDoctor?

  • Direct access to compassionate and faithful healthcare providers using your smartphone or computer

  • Providers who integrate Catholic spirituality into your care as needed

  • Labs and tests ordered and scheduled locally

  • Your prescriptions sent electronically to your local pharmacy

  • Visits are convenient, private, and secure

  • Avoid the high costs and inconvenience of urgent care centers and emergency rooms. We accept most insurance plans and healthshares.

Symptoms of an infected bite

An infected bite may cause one or more of these symptoms:

  • A wide area of redness around the bite
  • Swelling around the bite
  • Pus
  • Increasing pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Feeling warmth around the bite
  • A long red line extending out from the bite
  • Sores on or around the bite
  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes)
For mild reactions:

To treat a mild reaction to an insect bite or sting:


  • Move to a safe area to avoid more bites or stings.
  • Remove any stingers.
  • Gently wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice to the area of the bite or sting for 10 to 20 minutes. This helps reduce pain and swelling.
  • If the injury is on an arm or leg, raise it.
  • Apply to the affected area calamine lotion, baking soda paste, or 0.5% or 2% hydrocortisone cream. Do this several times a day until your symptoms go away.
  • Take an anti-itch medicine (antihistamine) by mouth to reduce itching. Options include non-prescription cetirizine, fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy, Children’s Allegra Allergy), Ioratadine (Claritin).
  • Take a non-prescription pain reliever as needed.

Seek medical care if the swelling gets worse, the site shows signs of infection or you don’t feel well.

Do I need to go to the doctor if an insect bite is infected?

A person should seek medical help from a doctor if their insect bite becomes infected. Treatment will typically involve a course of antibiotics. Early treatment can help prevent further complications and other infections.

If the infection is more severe, a person may require IV antibiotics or other care.

Most infected bug bites can be easily treated through telehealth, especially if treated early. 

Call 911 or your local medical emergency number if a child is stung by a scorpion or if anyone is having a serious reaction that suggests anaphylaxis, even if it’s just one or two signs or symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, face, eyelids or throat
  • Dizziness, fainting or unconsciousness
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Hives
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical help:

  • Ask whether the injured person is carrying an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others). Ask whether you should help inject the medication. This is usually done by pressing the autoinjector against the thigh and holding it in place for several seconds.
  • Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket.
  • Don’t offer anything to drink.
  • If needed, position the person to prevent choking on vomit.

At MyCatholicDoctor, we are committed to making Catholic healthcare accessible. Our doctors are committed to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit. We are pro-life and pro-eternal life.

Thank you for supporting pro-life healthcare.

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By God’s grace, MyCatholicDoctor continues to provide pro-life Catholic healthcare to all of God’s people. We are grateful to the donors that have allowed us to continue our mission. Please prayerfully consider a donation to the MyCatholicDoctor foundation.